Planning & Executing Social Media Campaigns
There are many benefits to creating a social media campaign. Some of these include audience growth, improved brand loyalty, better SEO, increasing reach and driving leads. Social media should be a fundamental part of your marketing or PR strategy.
According to The Drum, Facebook now influences 52% of consumers online and offline purchases. Furthermore, the majority of people are spending at least 2 hours of social networking every day.
Despite the fact that social media is becoming ingrained in our lives, it’s often regarded as a ‘checkbox’ item, assigned to junior staff. Instead, we should be creating a social media campaign that delivers results. Here’s how…
Step 1: Set the right goals.
First of all, decide the point of your social media campaign
- Who do you want to reach?
- What do you want them to do?
- Where should they do it?
- When should they do it?
- Why should they do it?
Next, create SMART goals. This is quite a standard way of planning, but it can be incredibly useful.
Remember to keep your business goals in focus when deciding on all these things. Getting loads of social media engagement doesn’t matter if it has no impact on your wider business goals.
Step 2: Invest in social media ads
In an age where organic reach is extremely low, your social media campaign may need a bit of a boost from paid advertising.
The benefit of social media advertising is that it can be targetted to your audience, allowing you to target your content to exactly who you want to. Campaigns can be measured and optimised based on traffic to site on a cost-per-click basis, engagement on the platform, completion of video, consumption, sharing, or lead generation/acquisition and sales.
Step 3: Coming up with a social media campaign – research phase
To ensure an effective campaign you need to know everything there is to know about your industry, audience and competitors
Research the recent social media campaigns of your competitors. Make sure you include:
• Evaluating which messages garner the most engagement (both positive and negative)
• Examining their share of voice within the industry
• Evaluating the differences between their brand messaging and your own
• Looking at the way competitors are covered in the media – are there reporters or outlets who would be interested in your announcements as well?
Understand Your Audience
Based on persona maps and audience research, decide which the strongest areas to target are. For example, job title, location, age etc.
Remember to consider their habits, what platforms and hashtags do they use? What conversations do they have on which topics? What kind of content motivates their engagements? What trends do they follow? A social media monitoring platform can be used to do this.
Understand Your Industry
Are there any trends or big events you can piggyback off? For example, if you’re a mental health charity, it would make sense to create a social media campaign during mental health week.
Are there any scandals currently in your industry? Avoid a crisis by avoiding that topic area.
Step 4: Final planning steps
You’ve set your goals and objectives. You know what’s going on in the market. You’ve identified the right time, place and message for your audience. Now you need to create your campaign. Use the below steps to ensure you haven’t missed anything when planning!
- Create the copy of your social media campaign, ensuring they have been optimised for each network
- Create images or video
- Review the content at least 2 days before campaign launch
- It’s good to A/B test ads, tweak creatives and/or text to see which one gets the best response
- Don’t forget to make it easy to measure the success of your campaigns
- Create UTM codes, and goals in Google Analytics
- If you’re going to be utilising social media ads, make sure your audience isn’t too small or large, and that the ad will run.
- Make sure you set a budget
- Another good thing to do, is ensure that your content couldn’t cause offence- over the last few years, there have been countless brands who’s ad campaign has ended up being very insensitive in light of certain events. Always have people outside of the marketing team check the ad before you run it, and check for any news stories that may impact how your ad is interpreted.
Learn how to avoid and prepare for a crisis here
Step 5: Your campaign is running, but the work isn’t over yet
Now your campaign is launched, here are a few things to do:
Don’t forget to keep up-to-date with any comments or shares of your content. Not only can it help you understand how your ads are being recieved, but it can also be a good way to start conversations with your audience
Continue to optimise your ads
Social networks vary, as do goals and objectives, but a general rule to follow is to shoot for at least 1% click-through or engagement on posts. As with other forms of marketing — like direct mail — 1% of an audience shows that messages are resonating and that your targeting is accurate.
If you’re A/B testing and one isn’t performing, you can always swap it out with other variables!
If a message, creative, or target isn’t leading to the results you’re after, stop it in its tracks. Allocate those resources to a more successful post in the campaign — don’t waste budget or audience attention on posts that aren’t working.
Step 6: Reporting
So your campaign is over, don’t just move straight onto the next one! It’s time to take a step back and analyse the impact your social media campaign has had. Use this template to create a report.
Remember to share your results internally!